The Lady Rams’ seniors led the charge to victory over Oklahoma Panhandle State University on Saturday afternoon as the team prepared to play in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament this week.
Seniors Lexi Burns and Adrianna Davis scored 19 and 12 points, respectively. The 66-56 victory over OPSU was matched by the men’s team winning 82-77 in overtime; both games were part of Senior Day, which honored seniors on both squads. Six senior cheerleaders and two senior dancers were honored at halftime of the men’s game.
The Lady Rams will play Wayland Baptist University at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Plainview in the quarterfinal round of the SAC tournament, according to ramsports.net.
Senior guard Karah Sicurella, who scored six points Saturday, wrote in an email that she is excited about going into the playoffs, but is sad that her career at Texas Wesleyan is ending. She is preparing for the Wayland Baptist game by watching past games and seeking out weaknesses in the other team.
Wayland Baptist beat the Lady Rams twice this season, once in January (80-53) and once in February (73-64), according to ramsports.net.
“I do not feel as if my final season of basketball has fully become a reality for me. It’s sad to think about letting go of something that has been a part of my life since the day that I started this sport,” Sicurella wrote. “I have went back to watch both of the previous games we have played against Wayland to try to learn from the mistakes that I made during those games. As well as trying to find weaknesses in the other team.”
Junior guard Nicole Gleason put seven points on the board in Saturday’s game. Gleason wrote in an email that it feels good to get another chance to play Wayland in the first round of the tournament. She says that the Lady Rams have had many injuries this season, which has pushed the team harder to get the wins.
“It feels good knowing we’re playing Wayland which is a team we can most definitely beat,” Gleason wrote. “We’ve played through many injuries which has made people take on a different role as a player and I think that has created a lot of energy on the court.”
For the men’s team, Saturday’s OT victory was the end of the season. The Rams ended the season 9-13 in the SAC and 14-16 overall, according to ramsports.net; their record was not good enough for the team to compete in the SAC tournament.
Nevertheless, freshman guard Peyton Sallee said he is proud of his team for fighting all season.
“With everything we’ve been through all year, I loved how we kept our heads up at the end of the season,” he said.
Junior guard Joe Cook-Green thought sending the seniors off with a win was well deserved.
“The seniors put in a lot of time and effort into the Texas Wesleyan basketball program,” Cook-Green said. “Seeing the seniors get honored was an amazing moment.”
Senior guard Rob Thomas appreciated being honored before the game.
“I thought the level of respect all the seniors were showed was special,” Thomas said.
Thomas loved the effort his teammates showed for the last game of the season.
“You could tell the team wanted to send the seniors out on a high note,” Thomas said.
He said he will miss playing in the blue and gold.
“I’ve been playing for a while,” he said. “This team will always have a special place in my heart.”
The Rams are looking forward to next year, Sallee said.
“With the way this season ended, we want to make sure this doesn’t happen next year,” Sallee said.
Sallee has regrets about how the season went.
“We had such a good team and great chemistry, we just couldn’t come up with more wins,” he said. “We just need to regroup and do better next year.”
Cook-Green is ready for the upcoming season.
“Not making the tournament is motivation for next season,” Cook-Green said. “We will try our hardest to not let this happen again.”
Cook-Green thinks the Rams’ chemistry can improve going into the next season.
“I think we need to find our identity as a team earlier in the season,” Cook-Green said. “We only started to find our flow playing with each other mid-season. Injuries played a part in our season outcome. Losing two top scorers is deflating to any team.”
You can watch the Lady Rams play Wayland Baptist University on Tuesday by visiting ramsports.net, looking up the women’s basketball team schedule and clicking the “watch live” link at the bottom of the page. You will be directed to the WBU all-access live stream website. Seats at the game can be purchased at the Wayland Baptist University gym on Tuesday.